After 60 years of churning out feel-good made-for-TV movies, the Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise is without a network. Variety reports that CBS has ended its 16-year partnership with Hallmark, putting the franchise's brand of schmaltzy, sentimental fare in limbo. This should hardly come as a surprise.
For years, the Hallmark Hall of Fame has been an oddity of the network television world. The warm and inspirational flicks are scheduled three times a year prior to Christmas, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. They are broadcast with limited commercial interruption (save for the occasional greeting-card advertisement) and play to a predominantly female audience. What mostly makes the franchise standout is its lineup of cloying mini-dramas in the landscape of violence, sex and reality television that is broadcast television. Some of its recent editions include The Lost Valentine: "A young and cynical female journalist learns love may transcend trials and time as she discovers a story that will change her life forever..." Or November Christmas: "A young father asks for pumpkins at the local farm stand... The farmer ruminates on the odd request and gets involved with strangers for the first time since his son's death long ago." The list goes on and on and it's really just not a fair fight.